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6:04 PM Fri, Feb. 15th

GVFD gets new fire engines, vehicles

The Golden Valley Fire Department added a fire truck and two vehicles last week to its firefighting arsenal.

The fire department bought Kingman Fire Department's 27-year-old fire engine that carries a 55-foot ladder.

The truck cost $11,500, GVFD fire Chief Harold Nystedt said.

Last summer, KFD purchased a new $728,000 aerial fire engine equipped with a 100-foot ladder equipped with a platform.

Nystedt said that several buildings in Golden Valley such as the gymnasiums at the two schools and the printing plant would require a ladder truck if there is a fire.

One residence he is aware of is three stories high.

"The ladder is an added plus," he said.

The engine will be used primarily as a reserve water pumper.

The pumps on the fire engine can pump out about 1,000 gallons per minute with a tank capacity of 500 gallons.

GVFD has a 3,000-gallon water tender and their other two engines have 2,500 and 1,000-gallon capacities respectively.

"You can go to most fires with 1,000 gallons or less," Nystedt said.

The ladder truck, the first for the department would allow only one firefighter to operate the ladder to protect a neighboring building from a structure fire thus saving manpower.

The ladder, equipped with a swiveling nozzle, can be operated from the engine and can even point the water spray downward onto a fire.

Every firefighter will be trained in operating the ladder and nozzle even though fire engineers will primarily operate the ladder.

The ladder, once the truck's stabilizing legs are in place, can rotate 360 degrees.

Training also involves the truck's driving abilities with the ladder on top.

"It's a little different having the aerial hanging over the cab," Nystedt said.

In addition, GVFD purchased two four-wheel drive Jeep Cherokees for $5,000 each.

Nystedt will use one vehicle and assistant chief Neal Bellew will use the other.

The vehicles, formerly state Game and Fish Department vehicles, were purchased from a state surplus company.

The staff vehicles replace an older Chevrolet Blazer and Suburban with too many miles on it.

The fire engine is expected to be in service in two weeks.

The staff cars will be in service in about a week with the addition of radios.

GFVD currently has 15 firefighters, and three captains for three shifts 24 hours a day along with the eight volunteers at its two fire stations.

The new engine will be housed at Station #1.

The Golden Valley fire district, which consists mostly of dirt roads, is about 172 square miles.

GVFD protects the community of approximately 5,000 people.

The department provides fire protection service to Golden Valley's two schools, commercial businesses along Highway 68 and residences.

About 75 percent of the calls the department receives are medical responses.

GVFD also responds to traffic accidents mainly on Highway 68, structure fires and hazardous material calls usually from drug busts.